IB 08/11: Ofwat investigating leakage failures


Fifteen water companies met their leakage targets in 2010-11, reducing leakage by a total of 15Ml/d – the equivalent of supplying a city about the size of Exeter with water for a year.

Six other water companies have reported that they failed their leakage targets for 2010-11. Ofwat will carry out investigations into these.

The companies that have failed are:

  • Anglian Water
  • Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water)
  • Northumbrian Water (North East operating area)
  • Severn Trent Water
  • Southern Water
  • Yorkshire Water

Missing leakage targets is a serious failure. Where companies have consistently failed to manage leakage in the past, Ofwat has made them invest £195 million from their own pockets putting the problem right.

As companies ask their customers to conserve water and use it wisely, customers have a right to expect that their water company meets its commitments and obligations. These failures send a poor signal about how companies value water.

Further information will be published once investigations into the failures are complete.


1. Ofwat (The Water Services Regulation Authority) is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage sectors in England and Wales. It exercises its powers in a way that it judges will protect the interests of consumers, promote value and safeguard future water and sewerage services by allowing efficient companies to carry out their functions properly, and finance them.

2. 2010-11 company failures.

Water Company Leakage target (Ml/d) 2010-11 Leakage (Ml/d) % of failure
Severn Trent Water 483 497 3
Northumbrian Water (North East) 150 158 5
Yorkshire Water 297 325 9
Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water) 190 199 5
Anglian Water 212 230 8
Southern Water 83 92 11

3. Southern Water, Yorkshire Water and Northumbrian Water (North East) failed their leakage targets for 2009-10.

4. Following their failure in 2009-10 Yorkshire Water and Southern Water have both taken out informal undertakings to improve their leakage performance.

5. Media enquiries to the Ofwat Press Office: 0121 644 7642 / 7616 / 7696 [email protected]